Sunday, November 9, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions

I am often asked questions about security question. Some are really good questions and I always appreciate them. Good quetions give me the opportunity to address security clearance and awareness issues that I don't always get to while giving formal training. These questions usually come up as I walk around the facilities or speak with folks informally. Here are just a few.

1. Is everyone guaranteed a security clearance?
No, having as security clearance is not one is not one of our inalienable rights. A security clearance is a determination of trustworthiness based upon an extensive background check conducted by some very professional and persistent investigators. The background checks help answer a person's ability to protect classified information based on the following criteria:
• Allegiance to the United States
• Foreign influence
• Foreign preference
• Sexual behavior
• Personal conduct
• Financial considerations
• Alcohol consumption
• Drug involvement
• Psychological conditions
• Criminal conduct
• Handling protected information
• Outside activities
• Use of Information Technology Systems

2. Is it true that the Government can deny a security clearance for something as simple as filing bankruptcy?
Yes, a security clearance can be denied for many reasons uncovered during the investigation reflecting the 13 criteria mentioned above. Remember, a clearance determination is based on whether or not you are trustworthy and stable. Any events or actions on your part that may subject you to release classified material to unauthorized personnel or prevent you from protecting it properly will make you subject to a decision to deny your clearance request.

3. Why should I earn a certification?
How badly would you like to stagnate in your career? Try using your favorite search engine to find a job in industrial security. You’ll find that employers are now looking for prospects with education and certification.

4. What certifications are available?
NCMS (Society of Industrial Security Professionals) offers the Industrial Security Professional (ISP) Certification to those who work with and protect classified material. Job descriptions include:
• Facility Security Officer
• Security Specialist
• Document Custodian
Our book ISP Certification-The Industrial Security Professional Exam Manual is designed to supplement a person’s study of the ISP Certification.

ASIS International Offers the CPP and other certifications. Also certifications include: CISSP, OPSEC, etc.

5. Suppose I don’t want a certification. Why should I buy your book?
ISP Certification-The Industrial Security Professional Exam Manual provides a career map for security professionals. The first few chapters are dedicated to education, networking, certification, and community involvement. Since security involves relationship building, this is what a security manager needs to know to establish themselves as an expert and therefore a credible source and influence. The final chapters are full of questions exercising an industrial security professional’s professional competence as compared to federal guidelines.

6. Why are so many people being arrested for stealing “secrets”?
In recent news, contractors and government employees have been arrested for taking classified material from the workplace, releasing it to unauthorized persons, and conducting export violations. In most cases, the employees did not have ill intent, but lacked training. More seasoned veterans of classified work have become “immune” to security procedures. A few have conducted espionage. It is important that security managers review security violations and look for patterns and include the information as part of the security awareness. Such information is an integral of developing a good security system designed to protect employee, corporate and national security.

7. My friend has a SECRET clearance just like me. However, she won’t talk with me about her SECRET stuff. What’s up with that?
You may recall in your security awareness training that classified conversations are conducted in approved areas. Dinner dates, car pools, movie theaters, etc are not approved areas. Also, just because you have a security clearance doesn’t automatically make you able to access classified material. You also have to have a valid need to know.

Develop relationships within your security professional network. Look for opportunities to help other professionals. Equally important are developing a positive relationship with those with whom you have security oversight. Be approachable so that they will trust you enough to ask the tough questions. Who knows, you may help prevent security violations.

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